An Irresistible Force Meets this Old House

When an irresistible force such as you

Meets an old immovable object like me

You can bet just as sure as you live

Something's gotta give

Something's gotta give

Something's gotta give

Johnny Mercer, 1954

In this case, the” irresistible force” is my daredevil, scooter-driving husband, and the “old immovable object” is any door frame or wall in the house (and occasionally my car in the garage). And the “something’s gotta give” aptly describes the collateral damage after each crash-and-burn turn.

I’ve reluctantly accepted that tire tread marks will be the standard on tile, carpet and laminate for the duration, but I haven’t wrapped my head around the destruction caused by the daily demolition derby within our house. I hear a screech, thud or snap and run toward the noise, muttering, “What now? Dear Lord, let it not be a weight-bearing wall.”

Most of the time, it’s a simple wipeout of the fresh paint. Fresh paint? Ah, yes. I spent the better part of last year painting and modestly renovating this old house. Hours spent stretching to the ceiling, ensuring coverage of every square inch, or bent over destroying my back while carefully trimming the baseboards. I finished just prior to Dale’s diagnosis of Parkinsonism. (Is irony funny, Lord?)

What I wouldn’t give to rewind the clock…(facepalm). If I could, I would have invested in several gallons of Kevlar-infused paint to gird the doorframes against the aggressive and uncontrolled scooter driving of my husband. After each episode, Dale manages a sheepish grimace accompanied by “I’m sorry. It got away from me. I can’t help it.” Bless his heart.

And just like runaway inflation, “I’m sorry” doesn’t buy nearly the amount of redemption it used to, not when faced with the rising pile of paint chips, divots the size of thumb nails, or “keying” the length of a hallway wall by a handlebar that “got away from him.” It may be okay for Ben Bernanke and the Fed to fall back on quantitative easing to “fix” their problems; I doubt that Home Depot would offer free paint to replace the heaps of chips on our floors.

When I look at the ravages left in Dale’s wake, I not only lament all the time and work of last year, but I shudder about all the repair time and work ahead of me. Now, don’t get me wrong. On a good day I wouldn’t trade my precious husband and our modest home for anything. On a bad…well, we won’t go there.

Aha! I just had a brilliant, to me anyway, idea for a new kind of caregiver respite. Instead of a relaxing weekend away to recharge the batteries, I’d gladly stay home and supervise someone…anyone but me…who will tackle all the home repair necessitated by PSP.

So where in the world is Bob Vila when you need him??!

10 Replies

  • Hi Carla re dale



  • Some days, you've gotta' laugh, eh, Jill?



  • Lost my reply2us



  • Hi Carla

    I can just imagine the damage caused by your husband driving his scooter as our furniture, door frames, skirting boards etc have huge chunks taken out of them with my husband just using his walker. Last year we converted our garage into a wet room and a small bedroom. I was so proud of myself as I did all the decorating and it looked great, not any more. My hubby even managed to destroy the bi-fold doors, one of them crashing to the floor. I've had a thought though Carla; Dale probably has much more fun destoying things with his speedy scooter than Colin does with his sedate walker.

    Life is never dull now is it?

    Take care.

    Nanna B

  • You are so right, Nanna B. Life is never dull. I may have to remind myself of that if we're forced to take up residence in a refrigerator box under an overpass, though. :) It sounds like we should get little racing flags for your hubby's walker and my hubby's scooter -- just to make more of a sport of it.

    By the way, I didn't receive a notice that you had posted. I think I may have to look back to the posts about the problems still with this website. Hmmm...



  • Hi Carla - wish I could write like you!

    Possible solution, but won't look good - the foam plumbers wrap round pipes?

    Not sure how you secure it to the wall.

    I've seen it used on car roof racks to protect the structure against sharp objects.

    Tony would have known how you felt - after he mowed the grass (seems a long time ago now ...) he used to get annoyed if I then went round leaving little heaps of pulled-out weeds, until I cleared them away.

    You could have a "painting party"? (You provide the refreshment and everyone else the elbow grease.) You could end up with some "interesting" colour schemes.

    Keep smiling


  • Hi, Wifemo. You made me chuckle at the thought of little mounds of pulled weeds! :)

    The only problem I see with the plumbers' foam (or the batting another friend suggested) is that we'd have to repair the holes made by hanging or wrapping the substances. Probably six of one, half a dozen of the other...

    Now, the painting party holds possibilities.



  • Hi Carla

    I hear ya loud and clear. My husband has now gone into a care home and I am just starting the big task of repairing and painting. In fact I just did the fridge and stove this evening with special appliance paint. I have to remove wallpaper and fill the holes and gouges and repaInt. I'm not looking forward to it At ALL!!! Good luck to you second time around.

    I like your sense of humor and agree with Mo.. Wish I could write like you.

    Take Care


  • God bless you, Linda. I'm sorry your hubby is now in a care home, but understand the necessity of it.

    The only advice I have for tackling the repairs you're facing is loud music and wine -- at least it always helps me -- but don't try climbing a ladder after your second glass. :)



  • Hi i c where u r coming from .. It is v difficult to be houseproud when u cannot do anything about it.



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